Freeverse Software announced Wednesday that it’s shipping BumperCar, the Web browser for kids the company first showed at Macworld Expo in San Francisco this past January. BumperCar provides filtering capabilities, can limit the sharing of personal information and offers parental controls, all within an interface that’s fun for kids to use.
BumperCar was developed using the same Web browser technology developed by The Omni Group for its own OmniWeb browser. It also uses Apple’s WebCore and JavaCore frameworks like Apple’s own Safari browser.
Adult users can tweak the software’s safety settings either by using straightforward “Low,” “Medium” and “High” settings, or by individually customizing details. The software can filter profanity, works with Google’s “Safe Search” mode, can restrict the hours your child spends online and features “School,” “Home” and “PreSchool” modes. You can block ad banners. BumperCar also supports filtering based on Internet Content Rating Authority (ICRA) guidelines.
BumperCar’s Start page follows through with the bumpercar motif — kids can either enter a URL or a search query as they’re already accustomed to, or they can move an animated bumpercar around the screen to one of five different search categories that pull up collections of Web sites that offer content in science, math, fun & games, civilization or language categories. They can also take their chances in the “Tunnel of Mystery,” which will whisk them away to a random site.
System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later, 50MB hard drive space and an Internet connection. BumperCar costs US$49.95; it’s shipping from Freeverse directly and is also available in Apple retail stores and other Mac retailers. Educational and volume pricing is available.